BLACKSBURG, Va., April 20, 2009 – Geof Allen, community outreach officer for the Virginia Tech Police Department, received the university's 2009 President's Award for Excellence.
The President’s Award for Excellence is presented annually to up to five Virginia Tech staff employees who have made extraordinary contributions by consistent excellence in the performance of their job or a single incident, contribution, or heroic act. Each recipient is awarded a $2,000 prize.
Allen is a 10-year employee of the university and a recipient of the police department’s Medal of Valor, the highest honor it bestows. He founded the Virginia Tech Student Police Academy in 2004 to provide students with insight into the law while teaching them effective crime prevention strategies. More than 200 students have gone though the program.
In the past year Allen was certified as a crime prevention specialist by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services. He has presented over 150 safety, crime prevention, and education programs on campus. He has also helped the university obtain grants for safety initiatives.
“Officer Allen is truly one of the most enthusiastic and dedicated employees I have had the honor of working with,” says Virginia Tech Chief of Police Wendell Flinchum. “He consistently strives to ensure the mission of the department is being fulfilled and often volunteers his off-duty time to further the goals and objectives of the police department.”
Allen created the police department’s website and serves as its webmaster. He has co-written and produced three emergency action and preparedness presentations tailored to the needs of faculty and staff, students, and visitors.
Assistant Chief of Police Thomas Foster says Allen “continuously receives letters of commendation and thanks from the university community.”
Allen started with the department as a dispatcher. Showing initiative and dedication, he moved up swiftly to become a sworn officer, and eventually became a key part of the community outreach unit.
Police Capt. Vincent Houston says Allen’s enthusiasm and dedication has inspired many people, including students who have gone on to become police officers.
“We currently employ three officers that were introduced to the police department through Geof’s programs,” Houston says. “Geof’s efforts have created a success story for them and our department.”